Seattle is known for its loyal fans, and soccer is no exception. Members of the Seattle Sounders infamous fan group, the Emerald City Supporters, made the journey to California on November 11th to see their beloved Sounders take on the L.A. Galaxy in the MLS Western Conference finals
As Seattle fans entered the stadium, they sang and marched to drown out the boos from the L.A. crowd. Unfortunately, towards the end of the first half, there wouldn’t be much left to sing about. On a clever cross, L.A.’s Robbie Keane was found on the back post for a quick, snap header to the back of the net, ending the first half 0-1 L.A.
The second half started pretty evenly matched, but it looked like L.A. had the advantage. They capitalized with two quick goals, first from Mike McGee, and then Robbie Keane scored his second of the game, just after Seattle forward Freddy Montero was subbed out. To compound the issue, it appeared as though the outside midfielders weren’t providing the support to the defense which left some players unmarked. Silly mistakes like giveaways left the defense in advanced positions, making it tough to defend L.A.’s fierce counter attack. In the end, L.A. defeated the Sounders 3-0.
With the first of the two game Western Conference Finals down, the Galaxy will travel to Seattle with their 3 goal lead, thanks to L.A.’s international super stars Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, and David Beckham.
So how does Seattle come back from this deficit? To advance, Seattle must score more goals than L.A. (aggregate between both games). The Sounders don’t have big names like L.A., but what they lack in stardom is made up for in chemistry and resilience. Seattle’s forward pair, Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero, have combined for over 25 goals this season. The Sounders midfield has had many different lineups, with one constant: Osvaldo Alonso, dubbed “The Honey Badger” due to his ferocious attitude and incredible knack to stop the opponent’s attack. Seattle’s back line has suffered through injuries all year, but that hasn’t held them back. They boasted one of the lowest goals against averages all season, anchored by goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who allowed fewer goals per game than any other keeper in the league.
And let’s not forget Seattle’s biggest advantage – they are playing their next game at home, in the loudest house in the country – Centurylink Field.